Abstract

A Paleozoic volcanic assemblage exposed in northern British Columbia, near the Turnagain River, previously considered to be part of an accreted terrane, was reported to be in depositional contact with a part of the Cordilleran miogeocline. This paper presents an integrated field, U–Pb geochronology, Sm–Nd isotopic, and geochemical study across the basal contact of the volcanic assemblage. Strongly evolved εNd(T) values, between –13 and –21, from samples of lower Paleozoic sedimentary rocks exposed below the volcanic rocks, and correlated with Atan – Kechika – Road River – Earn strata of the miogeocline farther east, support a North American miogeoclinal affinity, consistent with previously established regional stratigraphic and structural relationships. Nd isotopic data from the volcanic assemblage contrast significantly with data from the sedimentary rocks and record a mantle source (εNd(T) values between +4.0 and +7.0), consistent with a magmatic arc or back arc; negative Nb anomalies are similarly compatible with either arc- or back-arc-related magmatism. A concordant 339.7 ± 0.6 Ma U–Pb zircon date was obtained from the volcanic assemblage. The mixed gradational contact between the miogeoclinal and volcanic rocks is marked by interlayering of finely laminated grey and green phyllites on the scale of centimetres, with no evidence of a tectonic contact. Bedding at the contact is folded into tight outcrop-scale folds that are intruded by an Early Jurassic (187.5 ± 2.9 Ma) granodiorite. On the basis of all available evidence, the contact is interpreted as a facies transition. The Mississippian volcanic assemblage may link the miogeocline with the early development of an Angayucham – Slide Mountain basin.

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